Logan Schaeffler doesn’t just want to be one of the guys, he wants to be one of those guys. Meaning, the top runners in the state.
So far this fall, the Calhoun junior has pretty much proven to be one. Next weekend, he’ll get his chance to prove it for real.
Schaeffler won the Class A race in 16 minutes, 4.76 seconds at the Nassau state qualifier on Bethpage State Park’s 5-kilometer course Saturday. The performance qualified him for the public school state championships, scheduled for Saturday at Vernon Verona Sherrill High School in Verona.
“There’s definitely going to be a lot of great guys,” said Schaeffler of the ultra-competitive public school Class A championship race. “I definitely want to be up there and be seen as one of those guys that are always doing great. It would be nice to win. But, I think just being in that front pack would be nice.”
Entering Saturday, Schaeffler was ranked 15th in the state, tops on Long Island, and 10th in Class A, according to speed ratings found on tullyrunners.com.
“It’s pretty surreal to think that I have a shot at this,” he said.
Now, it’s strategy time. Schaeffler said he’s never seen the state course before (“I haven’t looked into it, but I should,” he said), and will switch up the way he races a little, just considering the competition.
“I think I might change up my pace a little bit more, instead of just running” he said.
Schaeffler helped Calhoun win the Class A team title with 53 points. They’ll represent Nassau in the Class A team competition.
Elsewhere, Oyster Bay’s Chris Tardugno won the Class C race in 16:57.90. He’s the top ranked Class C runner in the state, according to tullyrunners.com, giving him an inside track at a possible public school state title next weekend.
“The big goal is just to win,” Tardugno said. “I’m very confident. I’ve been training for months and I think I can go do it. I think I’ll be smart with my race.”
Overall, Tardugno is ranked 21st in the state and third on Long Island behind Schaeffler and Westhampton’s Max Haynia.
“It did surprise me,” Tardugno said of his high ranking. “…I think it just gives me confidence for the state meet.”
Saturday, Tardugno had to run through exceptionally warm November temperatures — with race time thermometers eclipsing 70 degrees. But, it was nothing the junior hadn’t done before.
“It wasn’t a big problem,” he said. “In the beginning of the season, we always race in hot temperatures. And, it wasn’t too hot. Just a little humid.”
Oyster Bay won Class C with 19 points, a near-perfect score. Valley Stream North’s Kevin Beltran won Class B in 16:11.09 and Garden City won the Class B boys title with 60 points.